Does Your Marketing and Writing Pass The Four-Way Test?

From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

“Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Redmond Rousers Rotary members and it was special for it was my inaugural Rotary speaking engagement (with opportunity #2 coming soon!). It was exciting to be the program speaker and it was simply a lot of fun. The members were good sports as I took control of the literal “classroom” we occupied and they “winged it” in a writing prompt I customized for the evening (smile).

A fine curry was served for dinner and my “non-speech” went off without a hitch and we accomplished good stuff in 20 minutes. Keeping the content simple and the conversation flowing worked like a charm. Yes, I easily stayed within the time limit and facilitated a rousing dialogue. (Communicating with heart and simplicity works pretty much all the time too!) Turns out the Rousers each have a favorite story to blog about in the future and I look forward to seeing the Rouser’s Blog feature many more contributors and perspectives. (Keep me posted Kelly!)

I had been invited to speak two months back by Kelly Kyle, current President of the Rousers, who is an enthusiastic leader of a now growing chapter. Kelly has done a lot of PR in the last 18 months that has boosted awareness of the Service Projects of this Rotary Chapter via blogging and writing and social media marketing.

The most recent fundraiser, the Coupe de Cascades, (a 425 mile bike ride in a single day) even attracted the attention of Race Across America and may soon be an official qualifying race that occurs in Washington State. Here again Authentic, Heartfelt and Savvy Social Media Marketing and yes, blogging and writing, helped raised the level of awareness on what one local chapter of Rotary is up to.

How did the Rousers get so “SMART?” I happen to know this story because it was more than a year ago, Kelly also started coming (when her busy schedule allowed) to the weekly Writers/Bloggers Support group I host. I remember the day that Kelly shared how the Rousers had invested and wisely so into learning how to use blogging and social media practices to genuinely attract new members AND community support for their events.

The Rousers as a chapter agreed to “invest” in something significant. Kelly received excellent coaching and support and training from Blaine Millet of Word of Mouth on Steroids. What Blaine suggested and trained Kelly on intensively (at first) is what I suggest all my marketing and writing clients embrace as well. Some do and some don’t and frankly, “It’s Simply A Smart Marketing Strategy.” (And if your hurdle is authentic self-expression, well there is a solution for that…close at hand) Writing (for Marketing YOU) is best done with a truly authentic voice (yours~not someone who writes for you) that can also pass the Four Way Test. Yes, I know  that last statement is my strongly held opinion.

Developing that “voice” may not happen overnight but working to discover yours and refine it is worth the effort. Then with thoughtful timing of social media efforts and all other marketing, you will see positive results. And like all great relationships, it takes time to develop and may seem like a whole lot of work at first ~ and it’s worth it!

Over the next year plus, Kelly got into a writing and PR rhythm and beneficial things began to happen that were good for the recipients of the Rouser’s support and good for the chapter’s membership base.Guess what grew? (Imagine, your business and you experiencing the same kind of growth and good will!)

I’d like to make a suggestion that I hope you dear readers take to heart and put to work post haste.

Please take a lesson from the principles of 1.) the Four Way Test and 2.) the application of it through Social Media and specifically blogging about the wonderful activities supported by the Rousers of Redmond. If Kelly can do it with the right support, so can you!

Why not let the Four Way Test be a litmus test each time you consider the writing and promotions you will be publishing in the name of growing your business and creating and supporting your online presence and reputation? And let being social while marketing with bold truth and colorful story and authentic intentions be your guiding tenets.

Being Real Inspires. Telling Stories Captivates. Paying It Forward Feels Great.

May you feel comfortable in sharing YOU in your marketing message and writing and know where to go for a champion if support and a push is needed.

P.S. (Funny thing, I’ve been hoping to meet Blaine ever since I heard that story from Kelly the first day I met her and “rumor” has it we are having a cup of coffee sometime soon…I’m counting the days!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passions and Possibilities: What's Love Got to do with IT? Everything!

Dear Sue Zeal Oliver of Passions and Possibilities:

Thank you for having me on the show today to talk of Passions, Possibilities and Love.

I had a most delicious time dialoguing with you over what felt like a virtual cup of tea.

You have a way of showcasing people that is completely honoring.

Now I realize I am doubly blessed to be co-authoring a book with you that showcases the stories of over a dozen of the 100s of Passioneers you have interviewed in the past two years. Your dedication to interviewing your passioneers week after week is inspiring. Showing up like you do alone is motivating thought.

And we all benefit from the wonderful library of dialogues you are creating and maintaining. Conversations filled with hope, inspiratiion and vibrancy (one of your favorite words for good reason!)

Oddly I felt most nervous at the end of the call??? I wonder why…No matter.

My days of radio dj’ing came flowing back to me and to imagine the message that we c-created as we dialogued might be just what someone needs to here…

Now that is what I am all about.

I’m looking forward to tuning into the podcast and archived audio file for quite frankly I remember most of wh\at I shared, but I bet a nugget or two got overlooked and isn’t playback GREAT.

http://tinyurl.com/authenticwritingprovokes

If you missed the live interview and wish to hear it, the link above will get you there.

May you gentle reader at large be blessed with having the ability to pursue your passions as the livelihood of choice.

Deborah

Authentic Writing: May the Buddha in You Shine

Please stop trying to be clever. How about being real?

I’ve got a question I’m really hoping a reader or two answers:

Where did you learn how to writing business and marketing copy?

I invite you to pause and think about the origins of your beliefs about what makes for good messaging and ask yourself a follow up question:

Does it reflect who you are OR did you borrow someone else’s specific set of writing instructions to attract so many customers you’d be making a five figure income by way of internet marketing strategies PROVEN to work by many others before you…or so they say on that website with the neverending cascading style sheet that allows for an unending page with multiple opportunities to CLICK HERE NOW to register for this SPECIAL PRICING and BONUSES…(gasp!)

Here endeth the run-on sentence and begins my attempt to make a point that I regard as extremely important.

Being a 20+ year student of marketing, and a 35+ year student of writing for both pleasure and my profession, I appreciate, cherish, study, analyse, scrutinize and celebrate language for all that it makes possible among us humans. In short, the written and spoken word and communication is dear to me.

Now,  I know that there is always going to be an attempt to crystallize and systematize writing as the creative and technical skill it is.

The point is there are two sides to the coin.  The raw, fun, juicy, heartfelt, honest, vulnerable, tactile, passionate and meaningful content deserves to be expressed AND at the same time it needs to be somehow organized into a coherent and logical format that can be read, understood, digested, integrated and acted upon–once the reader determines that the solution needed is before them–in the form of you or your service or product offering.

And the truth is, I’m not a huge fan of cookie cutter systems. I also though see the value of having a plan and sticking to it long enough to discern what is working.

I see value in systems and best practices (within reason). Yes, within reason do I myself follow the plan, with permission to go with  “plan b” in the wings  (typically based on spontaneous inspiration from a current event).

Blogging for business for example: there is a question that comes up pretty much weekly when new participants attend a group I host weekly. Can I blend personal and business? Put another way,  how much of me do I let shine in my writing?

I first heard this “true story” many years back.  And I even found “the story” and its picture today. And I hope it illustrates well what I am attempting to communicate.

World's Largest Golden Buddha

At one end of Bangkok Chinatown, in the temple of Wat Traimit, is hidden the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image. Weighing in at five and a half tons, the 15-foot tall seated image is uncountable worth.

The Golden Buddha was cast with solid gold sometime in the 13th century and is an excellent example of the gracious Sukhothai style that is still very much in favor to this day. At some point, it was covered in plaster, most likely in an attempt to hide the valuable icon from thieves or looters.

The disguise was so good that everyone apparently forgot about what was hidden beneath for more than five centuries. King Rama III had the statue moved to Bangkok and installed in a temple that later fell into disuse and was completely abandoned around 1931.

The true nature of the Golden Buddha wasn’t discovered until it was moved to its present location at Wat Traimit in 1955. When the image was being prepared for its move, some of the plaster was chipped off, revealing the gold underneath.

The statue sits in a plain building just barely big enough to hold it within the temple compound. On the terrace outside of the room housing the Golden Buddha are some interesting fortune-telling machines.

By the end of this year the Buddha image will be relocated to a newly built grand hall nearby which all people will never get too close to it.

Please don’t encase yourself in a protective coating…so that your writing is dulled by convention established by those who design one size fits all best practices.

Best practices and ideas that work deserve to be observed AND I see the value in bending the “rules” and being yourself.  For in tossing out the rules and really showing the world who lives through your writing, I have to wonder who you might catch “in your net” you might not have?

Krysta Gibson's Perspective: Can Social Media Grow Your Business?

A Note from Deborah:

I believe, I have many things in common with Krysta Gibson, who these days publishes the New Spirit Journal and consults on publishing and businesss and more. And as a happy subscriber to her newsletter, I was struck by this recent “essay” and offering. And thank you Krysta for granting me the go ahead to post to my blog; the place I evangelize about Authentic Writing and My Personal Marketing Manifesto (yes, I have one!)

First and foremost I love Effective Communication that furthers Human Relations. I love reading, writing, speaking, writing, communicating ideas in what ever “language” is your natural form of expression. And I champion people in business and in life confidently expressing themselves be it for their business or their relationships, in the name of having a Purposeful Life Experience, while of this Earth.

Continue reading “Krysta Gibson's Perspective: Can Social Media Grow Your Business?” »

This might seem to be obvious, but is it? What energy are you giving your business every day?

Reprinted with permission and originally published by Krysta Gibson September 21, 2009

When you think of your business, what sort of thoughts are you thinking? Do you bless your business or do you curse it? “Of course I bless it,” I hear you thinking. But, do you? Do you consciously bless your business every day and whenever you think of it during the day?

Sometimes we get so bogged down in the daily operations of what we do that we don’t even realize we are not blessing our business. Worry does not bless. Being upset does not bless. Boredom does not bless. Unconscious busyness does not bless.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of your work day and consciously bless your business and every aspect of it. If you have a retail store, take a few moments to walk around, look at your stock, and send it blessings. If you are a counselor, healer, or bodyworker, take a few moments to look at the chair or table your clients use and bless them. Look at your own chair and desk and computer, phone, iPod – whatever items you use in your business, and bless them. If you advertise your business, take a few moments to bless your ads and ask that they attract the right people for you.

Ask that anyone who contacts your business be blessed, that happiness, joy, and prosperity flow to them and through them. Ask that you be led to provide the service you are here to give and that those who need what you have to offer will find you easily and effortlessly.

Taking a few moments to do this puts you in a balanced and receptive frame of mind and it shows your business that you are a willing partner in your own success.

If you’re in Seattle Wednesday, drop in and say hello when I’m at East West Bookshop – I’d love to see you!

Have a fabulous week!

Krysta Gibson
Flowing River Consulting
425-356-7237
krysta@krystagibson.com

Krysta Gibson is an author and speaker and the publisher and co-editor of New Spirit Journal. She has been on her spiritual path her entire life and brings an eclectic blend of experiences and ideas to her consulting work.

I am by profession, a Marketing Specialist and in particular a student of Enrollment. In other words I am a Watcher, who Listens, a Reader who takes notes and bookmarks notable websites and their authors. And I probably subscribe to far too many newsletters and feeds, but I do it, for it serves me, as it also impacts my productivity some days (grin…)…like today.

And the point is this research (I am always doing), allows me to serve my clients and colleagues, as I am on the look out for the trends that work, and the great wisdom circulating the ethers, the internet and the blogosphere.

Thanks to Facebook and a friendly common denominator I came to connect with Krysta Gibson and have the good fortune to commence a working relationship with the New Spirit Journal and The Washington Holistic Chamber of Commerce . Week after week Krysta Gibson offers thoughtful reflective and down right practical wisdom on business and the spiritual nature of business. I asked for permission to post her latest column, fresh in my Inbox and she graciously said yes, I’d be honored.

Why reinvent the wheel when making others aware that the wheel exists is a simple elegant solution? And being an advocate for great advice (for life at large and business) and sharing it with others is what I do as naturally as breathing. To pass along wisdom is fun and rewarding.

I took a moment to honor and bless my workspace and found a new energy to commence projects for the day. Thanks Krysta for the reminder of what is not always obvious and easily forgotten as it exists before your very eyes. I’ll take as many reminders as I am offered to reconnect with gratitude and presence while I am working in service to my clients.

Deborah – Catalyst and Enrollment Specialist